Prevention and treatment of uncomplicated lower urinary tract infections in the era of increasing antimicrobial resistance-non-antibiotic approaches: a systemic review

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2019 Oct;300(4):821-828. doi: 10.1007/s00404-019-05256-z. Epub 2019 Jul 26.


Purpose: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the more common infections encountered in everyday clinical practice. They account for 10-20% of all infections treated in primary care units and 30-40% of those treated in hospitals. The risk of UTI in the female population is considered to be 14 times higher than in the male population. The prevalence of bacterial etiology results in a large consumption of broad-spectrum antibiotics, which in turn leads to increased rates of resistant uropathogens. Therefore, non-antibiotic prevention and treatment options are now of great importance.

Methods: A systematic literature search was performed for the last 20 years (1999-2019) and the efficiencies of these eight different non-antibiotic interventions were analysed and discussed.

Results: This article provides an overview on non-antibiotic options for management of UTI, including the application of cranberry products, the phytodrug Canephron N, probiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), D-mannose, estrogens, vitamins, and immunotherapy.

Conclusions: The last 20 years of research on non-antibiotic approaches in UTI have not brought conclusive evidence that antibiotic usage can be replaced completely by non-antibiotic options. Hence, antibiotics still remain a gold standard for UTI treatment and prevention. However, changing the therapeutic strategy by including non-antibiotic measures in the management of UTI could be successful in avoiding antimicrobial resistance at least to some extent.

Keywords: Non-antibiotic; Prevention; Treatment; UTI; Urinary tract infections.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Urinary Tract Infections / drug therapy*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / prevention & control*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents